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Travel Back in Time at Fun Historic Sites in Alabama
As you travel around the state you’ll encounter fascinating historic sites in Alabama. The Bessemer National Historic District features 30 historic buildings and Alabama’s oldest restaurant, The Bright Star. Downtown Anniston is home to 19th and 20th century Victorian and Neoclassical buildings and boasts a Federal Building constructed of marble.
The Madison Historic District is a short drive from Decatur and Huntsville. See the Clay House Museum and visit charming shops. Moundville Archaeological Park, south of Tuscaloosa, spans 185 acres and features 29 ancient mounds. The adjacent Jones Archaeological Museum boasts over 200 artifacts.
Dexter Avenue King Memorial Baptist Church in Montgomery is the church where Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. first became a pastor. Built in the late 1890s, the church is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Be sure to tour the King-Johns Garden and the Dexter Parsonage Museum.
Cathedral Basilica of the Immaculate Conception is a popular attraction in Mobile’s Historic District. Constructed in 1850, the church is an excellent example of Greek Revival architecture. View 12 beautiful stained-glass windows crafted in Germany, two towers, a classical portico, and eight Doric columns.
Historic Downtown Bessemer
Set along Interstate 59, the Downtown Bessemer National Historic District is located in Bessemer – a suburb of Birmingham in central Alabama. Founded in 1886, downtown Bessemer features nearly 30 structures best seen with help of the Bessemer Downtown Walking Tour Guide. Listed as a National Historic District, Historic Downtown Bessemer features the Bessemer Hall of History, the Carnegie Library, Bessemer Grocery Company, and Lincoln Theater. Enjoy Alabama's oldest restaurant, The Bright Star, along with shopping and sightseeing.
Historic Downtown Gadsden
Operated by Downtown Gadsden Inc., Historic Downtown Gadsden is located in northern Alabama in the city of – you guessed it – Gadsden.Gadsden’s downtown sector features a variety of boutique shops and local eateries – including favorites like the Downtown Tavern and Blackstone Pub & Eatery. Historic Downtown Gadsden is the setting for special events like Gadsden First Fridays, Third Thursday art, Christmas Open House, and Sunset Sips on Memorial Bridge.
Madison Historic District
See all you can and make the most of your next visit to Alabama. Plan your stay for the northern region where you'll find Madison. A city filled with small town charms and a welcoming presence, Madison visits mean explorations through the very popular Madison Historic District. Nestled neatly between Decatur and Huntsville, Madison and it's must-see historic district rarely disappoint visitors. The Madison Historic District was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 2006. As you plan your exploration of this historic stretch, be sure to include a tour of the Clay House Museum to the agenda.
Moundville Archaeological Park
Also the Moundville Archaeological Site, the Moundville Archaeological Park is located in central Alabama in Moundville – just south of Tuscaloosa. Preserving a Mississippian cultural site, the park includes 29 ancient mounds, and covers 185 acres. Set on the Black Warrior River, the Moundville Archaeological Park is a member of the University of Alabama Museums. Moundville is both a National Historic Landmark, and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. The onsite Jones Archaeological Museum features over 200 artifacts within its state-of-the-art facility.
Old State Bank
Constructed in 1833, the Old State Bank is a historic site in the northern Alabama city of Decatur. Once the home of the Tennessee Valley branch of the Bank of the State of Alabama, this Decatur landmark is now an informative museum. Operated by the Old State Bank Board of Directors, the iconic Old State Bank Museum features exhibits showcasing Alabama’s vast history – including early banking. OSB also hosts educational programs and special events within this historic structure and scenic courtyard.
Tannehill Ironworks Historical State Park
Set in Tuscaloosa County, Tannehill Ironworks Historical State Park is located in McCalla in central Alabama – just south of Bessemer outside of Birmingham. Found on the National Register of Historic Places, the ironworks were completed in 1862, and were once the iron source for Confederate Civil War soldiers. Now the 2,063-acre Tannehill Ironworks Historical State Park is home to the Iron & Steel Museum of Alabama – plus the John Wesley Hall Grist Mill and the May Plantation Cotton Gin House. Located off Interstate 59, the park is open daily from dawn till dusk.
Ten Islands Historic Park
Set on Neely Henry Lake, Ten Islands Historical Park is located in northern Alabama just south of Gadsden. Preserving the site of a small skirmish from the American Civil War, Ten Islands is now a recreational hot spot near the Neely Henry Dam. Ten Islands Historical Park is open daily from 5 a.m. to 9 p.m., and features swimming, boating, and fishing opportunities on the waters of Neely Henry Lake. Other activities include picnicking, hiking, and bird watching throughout the surrounding woodlands.
Tuskegee Institute National Historic Site
Preserving the legacy of the Tuskegee Institute, the Tuskegee Institute National Historic Site includes the historic campus on Tuskegee University, the home of Booker T. Washington, and the George Washington Carver Museum. Take a tour of the historic district and see beautiful brick buildings designed and built by Tuskegee Institute students.
Free ranger-guided tours of Booker T. Washington's home, also known as "The Oaks", are freely available Tuesday through Saturday at certain hours. During other times, visitors round out their trip and pay a visit to the George Washington Carver Museum, which houses exhibits and interpretive programs of one of America's most famous inventors. The district is located southwest of Opelika in southern Alabama.